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Youth soccer ref dies after assault by player

The SportsXchange

A soccer referee has died after more than a week in a coma following an assault by a player while working a high school game in Taylorville, Utah.

Ricardo Portillo, 46, was referring a youth match at Eisenhower Junior High School on April 27 when he gave a goaltender a yellow card for pushing an opponent with his hands. While Portillo was writing the infraction in his official's notebook, the 17-year-old player punched him in the head, according to the police report obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune.

Portillo sat down and began vomiting blood and was lying in the fetal position while complaining of pain in his face and back and feeling nauseated.

The goaltender was playing his first game for La Liga Continental de Futbol squad, according to witnesses, and is being held in a juvenile detention facility until charges are determined.

"Formal charges will be screened early next week with the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office," a police press release said. "Since Portillo has passed away additional charges will be screened in connection with his death."
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